Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tokyo Zombie

This is the story of Tadanobu Asano and Sho Aikawa, nearly unrecognizable in afro wig and bald cap, as the world's dumbest dudes in the midst of a zombie outbreak. They don't cause it, which sort of shocked me, but then them actually doing anything would be counter to the spirit of the movie. These two are basically morons, not in the awesome too-dumb-to-know-better spirit of Invincible Woody and Crazy Bee, but the directionless Beavis and Buttheadedness of the possibly clinically retarded. Theirs is a world of things that just happen because they do, a world of uncomfortably long grappling on the floor, pervasive misogyny, and scatological Gatling guns, where you can totally drive from Japan to Russia. Plus the hungry dead.

So, clearly this is a film that defies conventional standards of review. It merely is. This is not an exciting movie exactly, it's more a stream of deadpan surrealism. Don't go in expecting Tokyo Gore Police and you'll be fine. The translation is a little loose, but I cannot find it in my heart to condemn a movie that renders "baka ja nai ka!?" as "Are you fuckin' retarded?" It also earns points for including the original manga's butt-ugly (sorry, "heta-uma") art style in a cameo, and even more for having Kazuo "Drifting Classroom" Umezu as the God-Emperor of postapocalyptic Tokyo. Hell, until I saw the credits I figured he was just playing himself.


  1. After the incident with his horrible striped house, I think Kazuo Umezu as God-Emperor makes perfect sense.
    Asano and Aikawa have both demonstrated great fondness for deadpan surrealism basically any time either of them appear in something ostensibly a comedy.

  2. Manga is great, though I kept on thinking that I might get more out of the live-action adaption. Probably will check this out.